(CNN ) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says the nation will look at itself differently the day he is inaugurated as America’s first black president.
Obama was addressing the National Urban League Convention’s presidential forum in St. Louis when he was asked what he could do to stop racial polarization in the U.S. Holding up his hand like he was taking the oath, the Illinois senator said, “The day I’m inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. And don’t underestimate that power. Don’t underestimate that transformation.”
He told the crowd that endless high-minded discussions weren’t the answer to the problem. He said, “Here’s what I won’t do, because we do this all the time. I’m not going to set up a commission, and I’m not going to have a conversation, because we set those up with a lot of fanfare and there’s not any follow-up.”
Obama said that, as president, it would be more important to discuss specific issues as they come up “each and every day.”
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk